Ascend Publications

Ascend is pleased to offer these resources to the growing two-generation field. We kindly request that you attribute Ascend’s work by citing the publication referenced. Please email ascend.info@aspeninstitute.org with any questions. Thank you!

Measuring Family Outcomes

The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood has undertaken a new way measure when positive outcomes are achieved for families enrolled in voluntary home visitation services, and how to provide additional financial incentives for the service provider. This groundbreaking pilot initiative – the first in the nation of its kind – will reward positive outcomes for evidence-based home visitation services, from reduced child welfare involvement to increased parental employment. Following recommendations from Ascend at the Aspen Institute for measuring outcomes for children and parents, the Office of Early Childhood designed a set of whole-family, or two-generational (also known as 2Gen) outcomes measures representing key family goals that also generate value for Connecticut.

Ascend_United Way_brief

As hundreds of organizations and dozens of states around the country explore two-generation (2Gen) approaches, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the national 2Gen hub, is documenting and sharing the lessons of field leaders. This brief from our 2Gen Toolbox focuses on a leading community model, the United Way, and how United Ways are leveraging their community leadership roles and funding portfolios to achieve better outcomes for children and families through a 2Gen approach. This brief is part of our Solutions Series (January 2018)

New 2-pager on Ascend Network efforts in Colorado. November 2017.

This report leads with 5 principles policymakers should consider when designing evaluation plans for their 2Gen efforts:

  1. Measure and account for outcomes for both children and parents;
  2. Embed learning and evaluation in policy design and systems development;
  3. Use multiple approaches;
  4. Use and promote data; and
  5. Build internal capacity and ensure continuous feedback through evaluation efforts.

We strongly believe that establishing a set of principles will ground 2Gen efforts and help agency staff, community partners, and other stakeholders understand what guides the learning and evaluation process.

The Ascend 2Gen Early Childhood Development and Health Working Group identifies and prioritizes opportunities that can steer policy and practice in directions that recognize the close connections between early childhood development and health. This brief comes out of a Strategic Mapping Session in July 2017.

Colorado has already seen great success with a multitude of 2Gen efforts, primarily in the human services realm. Critical stakeholders within the state recognize that if they want to take 2Gen to the next level, they must go beyond human services and look for 2Gen strategies that cut across sectors, nonprofits, the business community, state and local governments, and philanthropic partners. Each sector will participate for its own reasons, but together they will lift up Colorado families and make the state even stronger.

The Colorado Guide to 2Gen provides a roadmap for the next phase of the state’s efforts to ensure that all Colorado families and children are valued, healthy, and thriving. June 2017.